Gaara, now in Shukaku form, stand before Seimei, who is seeing Gaara like this for the first time. The others arrive on the scene as Naruto tries hobbling towards the battle. Before he can get far, Sakura insists that she treats his injuries.
As Naruto's wounds are healed, Neji, through using Byakugan, notices that there is a very powerful chakra between Gaara and Seimei. The chakra absorbing armor reminds Lee of his battle with Suikon; such techniques should not be underestimated. Though Seimei wasn't originally planning to battle Shukaku, it will be a good way to show off the power of Takumi Village. For a moment, Gaara once again flashes back to his bout with Naruto long ago and understanding why Naruto went so far for his friends. All of a sudden, Shukaku regresses and Gaara returns to normal, which is a sign that he's trying to control the beast with his own willpower. He declares that he'll protect his friends with his own power. Seimei uses the three headed dragon sword, and even though Gaara can barely hold his own, he has an ace up his sleeve. He uses Ryuusa Bakuryu (Quicksand Avalanche), but nothing happens. Despite this, as he declares, he is Sabaku no Gaara and creating sand by breaking stones and turning minerals into sand is natural to him. The mountainous region behind the two begins to slowly crumble and soon sand pours out like a great flood, overtaking everything in sight.
All of a sudden, "Kujaku Senpuu Sen!" Seimei yells as he emerges from the sand.
He begins to absorb Gaara's chakra, but no one interferes because Gaara is no weakling. He raises his hand and uses Saikou Zettai Hougeki, Shukaku no Houkou (Ultimate Absolute Attack: Shukaku's Spear)! He throws the mighty spear and it goes straight through Seimei's armor. Though Seimei cannot understand it, Gaara explains that someone like Seimei, who only sees people as weapons, wouldn't able to anyway. Seimei retreats to the sand, but Gaara uses Sabaku Taisou (Desert Imperial Funeral). Huge shockwaves ripple throughout the sand and with that, Seimei's life comes to an abrupt halt and all that emerges from the sand are tiny fragments. Gaara then collapses from chakra exhaustion.
Kankuro thinks back to when Gaara told him that he'd work hard to be acknowledged, just as Naruto had done. Kankuro compliments Naruto on finally having someone who truly understands what he's going through, but Naruto doesn't hear it.
Atop a cliff, Kakashi and Jiraiya arrive just a bit too late.
Back in Konoha later on, Naruto opens his eyes and discovers that Jiraiya is next to him. While Naruto's a bit peeved that he and Jiraiya still haven't, after all this time, gone off to train, but Jiraiya has his reasons: he has figured out the motive behind the actions of Akatsuki. He plans to help Naruto polish up his abilities before time is up and they make their move.
Sometime later, the Suna siblings and Shikamaru give each other their thanks, but Naruto is nowhere to be found since he'll be leaving soon. However, Matsuri asks Shikamaru to tell Naruto that because of him, she understands what Gaara had been trying to tell her.
Naruto, having packed all of his stuff, leaves his home, but takes one last look at the photo of Team 7…when they were all together.
At the Hokage Tower, Tsunade informs Shikamaru that she's heard about the mission. She won't give him a perfect grade, and she knows that Shikamaru still has a long way to go, so she promises that she'll be assigning him even more missions…which isn't exactly a good thing to him.
Just as she did long ago when she first became Tsunade's apprentice, Sakura is practicing her medical ninjutsu by healing a fish. Ino arrives and she admits that since the last mission, she's been very useless and isn't as much of a necessity to the team as Sakura is. That's why she's made up her mind to be a medical ninja as well and she asks Sakura to ask Tsunade for her. Sure, Sakura will do it, but she declares that Ino, for the time being, will be her little sister and Sakura will play the medical ninja senpai (elder). The two get into their classic exchange of insults.
Elsewhere at a dojo, Tenten, in the midst of throwing wild punches and kicks to Lee, demands to know why she was the only one left out of the mission. Though Lee reminds Tenten that she was already out on a mission with Kotarou's team, this doesn't calm Tenten down. From a safe distance, Chouji, Shino, and Kiba watch the fight erupt and talk of Naruto's leaving the village and that it'll be relatively quiet in Konoha as a result. Lee reminds them that they shouldn't be down and must train even harder than Naruto, but as a result of diverting his attention from Tenten, she takes this opportunity to come in and deliver a fierce kick to the face.
At the Hyuuga mansion, Neji and Hinata's sparring match comes to halt when Neji reminds Hinata that it's about time for Naruto to be heading off.
At Ichiraku Ramen, Naruto and Iruka have one last meal together before he and Jiraiya head off.
Taking a final look towards the Hokage monument atop the mountain, Naruto raises and clenches his fist and declares that he'll become even stronger.
From a distance, Hinata also declares that she'll become stronger to keep up with her Naruto-kun.
Naruto and Jiraiya leave through Konoha's gates as Part I of Naruto comes to a close.
Next Time: Naruto Shippuden finally airs as Naruto returns from his training of two and a half years!